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The Best KIDS Christmas Album In The World…Ever Ever Ever

The Best Kids Christmas Album

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

FOLLOWING hot on the heels of last week’s alternative Christmas album, A Santa Cause: It’s A Punk Rock Christmas – Vol 2 comes The Best KIDS Christmas Album In The World…Ever Ever Ever!, a new compilation of festive hits as reinterpreted by indie-flavoured bands.

Contrary to what its title suggests, however, it’s far from the best Xmas album of all-time – but rather a nice alternative. One that puts a wortwhile spin on some cheesy Xmas crackers without ever really delivering anything to really, really impress.

The Kids record label has enjoyed a successful 2006 with releases from The Whip, Assembly Now and The WOMBATS among others, so it has now assembled a collection of its finest artists to record a selection of original Christmas songs and reinterpretations of traditional favourites by the best unsigned talent in the UK and beyond.

The ensuing album is limited to 500 bargain-priced CDs, with all profits being donated to the NSPCC. For that reason alone, it’s worth seeking out.

The album opens with a hi-octane blast through Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody by the KIDS Allstarz, featuring label staff along with members of KIDS alumni Paper Cuts, before Oppenheimer comprehensively knock covers by U2 and Mariah Carey into a cocked hat with their definitive version of the Spector-penned Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).

But the first of the real highlights comes in the form of It Hugs Back’s Christmas On The Square, which reassembles the guitarwork of a Lemonheads classic into a thrilling festive spin.

It’s followed by The WOMBATS’ manic Is This Christmas?, a vigorous punk rock workout that should have you bounding energetically around that Christmas tree.

West End Girls (two Swedish 17-year-olds) deliver a memorable version of the Pet Shop Boys’ Always On My Mind, Findlay Brown removes the schmaltz rather nicely from Wham’s Last Christmas and Mighty Six Ninety come over all Jarvis Cocker for White Christmas.

Sam Elliott delivers a suitably warm-hearted version of Walking In A White Christmas towards the end. But while it’s all fun, the album doesn’t blow your Christmas stockings off like last week’s punk rock alternative.

But if you want to avoid endless Wham repeats, or Slade’s excess, then these two albums combined certainly succeed in making you feel festive without coming over sick.

KIDS launched in November 2005 and, having only just reached its first birthday, already boasts a back catalogue of nine acclaimed releases and has acted as a springboard for bands such as iLiKETRAiNS (Beggars Banquet) and The Whip (Lavolta) to sign to bigger labels.

The label also won praise from The Times and the Evening Standard when it became the first UK label to give away free, unprotected MP3s of the tracks to all vinyl buyers, allowing them to listen with ease on any digital music player.

It’s well worth keeping an eye on as it enters its second year.

Track listing:

  1. KIDS Allstarz – Merry Christmas Everybody
  2. Oppenheimer – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
  3. It Hugs Back – Christmas on the Square
  4. The Wombats – Is This Christmas?
  5. Mighty Six Ninety – White Christmas
  6. The Young Playthings – Whadaya Want for Christmas
  7. West End Girls – Always on my Mind
  8. Findlay Brown – Last Christmas
  9. Popular Workshop – Christmas Wrapping
  10. Sam Elliott – Walking in a White Christmas
  11. Captain Kidd – Boxing Day Ride